Have you ever bought a bunch of bananas from the market that were bound together with plastic wrap at the stems? This practice slows the release of ethylene, which occurs mainly through the stem. Slowing its ethylene release also slows the rate at which a banana turns brown. Another fun banana fact: keeping bananas away from carbon dioxide slows the ripening process too. When bananas become ripe, they have a shelf life of about three to four days in the refrigerator, or as long as two to three months in the freezer.
The honeydew melon produces ethylene as it ripens, but even more so once it’s cut open. For this reason, it’s best to store honeydew whole until you’re prepared to eat it. You can store it for around two weeks in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer. Once cut into, the delicious flesh of this melon will last only a few more days.
By the way, if you’ve been storing honeydew next to cantaloupe, you won’t get as much shelf life out of the latter. Cantaloupe is sensitive to honeydew’s ethylene.
The mango is ethylene-producing, but releases less of this natural gas during ripening than other foods in this category. It’s less of a threat to ethylene-sensitive fruits and vegetables, but a threat nonetheless. Store mangoes for one week in the fridge, or up to four days at room temperature. Before freezing mango, test it for ripeness. The flesh under the skin should feel a bit soft when you press it with your finger. If it’s ripe, remove the flesh from the skin and either freeze it in chunks or as a puree. Mango can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.